A step up for re­gion

Lock­yer en­ter shield

Gatton Star - - SPORT -

CRICKET: Lock­yer cricketers will get the op­por­tu­nity to put their best foot for­ward and test them­selves against a higher stan­dard of com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son.

The Lock­yer Light­ning will fea­ture in the Hard­ing-mad­sen Shield for the first time, which will see them square up against some of the best sides from Ip­swich and Toowoomba.

The one-day 50-over com­pe­ti­tion will get started in Oc­to­ber and the 12 par­tic­i­pat­ing teams will be split into two pools of six.

The Light­ning will have to ad­vance to the fi­nals in De­cem­ber if they want an op­por­tu­nity to play against Ip­swich comp heavy­weights Lai­d­ley, who have been vy­ing for the shield since the com­bined com­pe­ti­tion started two years ago.

For­est Hill cap­tain Shan­ley Neuen­dorf wants the re­gion’s cricketers to take the chance pre­sented to them.

We’re all young and all want to be there.

— Shan­ley Neuen­dorf

The 26-year-old has led a young and tight-knit rep­re­sen­ta­tive Lock­yer side as they’ve be­come a dom­i­nant force in the Mitchell Shield over the past cou­ple of years.

“We’ve got some pretty good ta­lent around the area and it will be good for the growth (of cricket in the re­gion),” Neuen­dorf said.

“Lock­yer cricket has sort of been dy­ing, so it might give a bit more in­cen­tive for the younger blokes if we’re play­ing in a bet­ter comp.

“That’s why we lose all the play­ers, they al­ways go some­where else to bet­ter their cricket.”

Neuen­dorft ex­pected the team to hold their own but knew it was only early days and get­ting a few wins un­der their belt in their de­but sea­son would be a good marker for suc­cess.

“I’m pretty con­fi­dent with the ta­lent we’ve got,” he said.

“We’re all young and all want to be there and we’re all pretty close mates as well.

“That al­ways helps.” Lock­yer Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Lance Pol­lock said it was com­mon to lose ta­lented play­ers to clubs in Ip­swich, Toowoomba and Bris­bane.

“It’s an op­por­tu­nity to help us re­tain play­ers in the Lock­yer who might oth­er­wise leave and play in other com­pe­ti­tions,” Pol­lock said.

“We have lost quite a few play­ers to Toowoomba this sea­son... but you can’t hold play­ers back.”

The Lock­yer Light­ning will kick­start their Hard­ing-mad­sen Shield cam­paign against the South East Red­backs at Cahill Park on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 6.

PHOTO: LACH­LAN MCIVOR

NEW BOUND­ARIES: Shan­ley Neuen­dorf is look­ing for­ward to play­ing in the Hard­ing-mad­sen Shield.

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